Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic AleStone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale is a Strong Golden Belgian style ale highly hopped with American hops (Ahtanum, Amarillo and Simcoe). The beer pours pale golden with a thick and creamy white head of foam. The aroma is full of depth: nuances of pepper, clove, and banana from the Belgian yeast strain, and the resiny citrus notes from the American hops blend together nicely to provide a complex aromatic character. The taste is spicy, hoppy and fruity, with a very dry and a pleasant bitter end. The bitterness lingers nicely, and provides a refreshing finish that leads you to want to drink more and more of this beer!

Added by froghop on 08-04-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 496 | Ratings: 897
Photo of cbutova
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from notes on 02/02/2013.

A- Bottle pour to pint glass with a hazy golden body and a foamy white head that is about one finger in size. Decent retention and creamy thick ring leaves good lace rings.

S- Pretty weak strength overall. Mostly just get aged European spicy hops and some aged light caramel.

T- Most affected by age so far out of the VEs we tried. Still some hop character like spicy, fruity herbal Euro hops. Light caramel, lemon, oxidation and coridander.

MF- Slightly creamy feel with low-medium carbonation. Medium bitter finish.

Aged IPA feel but somewhat solid still. Herbal and floral with that aged light caramel feel.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I was fortunate to try this last night at an epic tasting held by my good friend Mike, thanks for the opportunity MrBarleywine!
Pours a slightly hazy light golden color with a smallish off white head that sticks for a bit. The aroma is lemony with a touch of hop still evident and a nice spicy and fruity aroma to balance the sweetness of a bready and sweet maltiness. The flavor is sweet and spicy with light sugar with a touch of lemon and citrus Light hop flavor still evident, but certainly faded. Moderate level of carbonation with a light body and a sweet mouthfeel. Decent brew that may have held up better than expected. Nice beer.

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Photo of czechsaaz
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In keeping with tradition, 1st bottle on release day. (Yeah I know Stone's been releasing ahead of schedule the last few years but I hold out 'til the actual date. Superstitious I guess.)

Nice estery earthy spice nose and a great pilsner malt backbone. Hop aroma is really subdued (for Stone) but it's in there.

Golden and clear with tons of rising bubbles. Started with a light head that faded quickly to a little layer around the rim.

Drinking I get honey mostly and light hop flavor. Hop bitterness is pretty low so the malt backbone is what comes off mostly. Lots of spice and fermentation esters. I get pepper and anise. Overall though, it's kind of light on flavor.

Full bodied but the carbonation level is high enough that it isn't heavy. It feels lighter than it is.

Very drinkable now. Not overwhelming in strength or flavor. Good, but not great.

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Photo of timtim
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i have to agree with the previous reviewer, and say that this reminded me more of a tripel. hints of clove and cinnamon along with some fruit, some nice piney hop and a bit of pepper. we'll see where it goes from here... i'm curious to see what aging will do, but to tell the truth, i don't really see it becoming too mind blowing. i'm actually a little bummed that i spent the money, but i appreciate, respect and encourage the risk and creativity of the good folks at stone.

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Photo of jeffthecheff
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Greg for the bottle. I didn't think this beer would hold up like it did, but it was very enjoyable. I'm reviewing this as a Tripel as the bottle says, instead of a Belgian IPA.

It looks like honey in the glass, with a gold color and a complete haze. The head is solid and white and leaves great lacing on top of what turns in to a thin cap of foam.

I smelled the bottlecap after opening and it had a good amount of hops stuck to it. The beer itself lost most of these hops after 1.5 years in the bottle. There is a touch of citrus to the nose, but I'm not sure if it's from the hops or yeast. At this point, it's still less hoppy than a fresh, more conservatively hopped Belgian tripel. It does have a strong, sweet bouquet of light colored fruits like apples and pears.

The flavor is intensely sweet with pale malt and Belgian sugar. The bitterness at this point is lower than any tripel I've had, and the aged hops add a slightly medicinal bitterness in the finish. Some sweet, apple like candy flavors linger in the finish.

The mouthfeel is well carbonated with a medium body. The finish is a bit sweet because of the lacks of hops at this point, leaving a finish that isn't quite as dry as the label says. The drinkabilty is good, even though the ABV sneaks up on you. I was glad I had another pour left in the bomber. Good example of one of my favorite styles.

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Photo of dedrinker
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An attractive golden hue with a soft white head.

Smells like spice, sweet bread, honey, and citrus.

Tastes like coriander, orange peel, and honey with a lingering hop bite, that has mellowed remarkably since it's first bottling. This is almost like your ordinary above average Belgian triple.

medium body with both a sweet and bitter hops finish. Great for spring and summer mornings.

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Photo of n00tz
3.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Blonde body, White head, slow stream of carbonation. Slight lace left behind.

S - Fruity freshwater and spices.

T - While it was still cold- Fruits of apple, peach and some banana(?). Spicy of pepper and some clove. Sweetness follows the spice in the aftertaste.

M - Average thickness, brings some carbonation when it hits the tongue. Decent presence that sticks to the palate.

D - Eh. I'd hope for a lot more when I have one again after cellaring it for as long as I can withhold.

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Photo of portia99
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Vertical Epic glass.

A - Pours a pale golden color and filled with light fine sediment. A Low white head lingers briefly and leaves behind spotty lacing on the glass.

S - Citrusy oranges and lemons, lots of fruity esters, some higher alcohols that give a rather boozy impression overall.

T - Citrus up front, light lemony fruitiness, a bit boozy, nice mid-level hop bitterness.

M - Booze, thinnish-medium body with a low-mid carbonation.

O - Similar to 07-07-07, but toned down on the citrus, thinner body and more impressive hop contribution for bitterness that balances more.

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Photo of SMADMS
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from 22oz bottle into a pint glass

A- pour a clear golden yellow no head ultra fine carbonation left slight lacing on glass
S- Sweet and fruity. spicy (cloves) Nice belgium yeasts
T-- hoppy, the sweets follow the nose and very clean nice dry finish
M-- very lite on palete, smooth and very well balanced
D-- shocked by the 8.4 wouldn't guess it that high and that could be an issue This is good for 2-3 bombers at a time..

Nice Belgian Ale cant wait to see how it ages...hopefully I can wait

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Photo of kemoarps
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a pretty straw blonde colour, cloudy-ish disposition, with a decent head, limited lacing, and no trail down the sides of the glass.

The smell is positive, but not particularly outstanding. The citrusy hops are what jump at me initially, with a fruity body complimented by a very noticeable spice profile hilighted by some peppery undertones and is that cardamom?

The taste follows the nose's lead, carrying through on the promise of spices, citrus, and almost a little bit flowery hops. The fruit tones are also quite noticeable, predominantly an apricot sweetness, but not in an overwhelming or really 'sweet' sense. Tasty.

In terms of the mouthfeel, the carbonation plays across the tongue in an enjoyable manner, augmented by the white pepper spiciness, and washes down fairly smoothly. Tastes less alcoholic than it is. Quite enjoyable, and drinkable, not heavy considering the alcohol content, and not particularly heavy, or too bitter to drink too much of. Overall a quite enjoyable brew, with an exciting collectible intangible aspect.

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Photo of kwjd
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden orange colour with some white head and nice enough lacing. Smells like spicy Belgian yeast with some citrus notes. Flavour has a kick of bitterness, but also a very dry flavour to it. Nice carbonation and easy to finish off my half of the bomber.

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Photo of bonkers
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a bomber into a tulip glass. The beer is pretty, pale golden yellow with an impressive white head. The smell is fruity, yet spicy. While I enjoyed the taste of this beer I was expecting more. IMO it taste like a standard triple, I would have graded it higher if that was how it was marketed. The taste is spicy, and phenolic. I do not detect the heavy use of American hops however. This is a medium bodied beer that hides its alcohol well. A very good beer, but there are triples that are priced similarly that I enjoy more.

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Photo of joe1510
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber
Steve's Liquor
Madison, WI

Stone's Vertical Epic 08.08.08 is such a perfectly clear golden that I can read every word on my computer through the glass. An easy pour yielded a couple fingers of creamy white head that seemed to fade quickly to a thin skim, fat collar and stand up island of head in the middle of the glass. Sticky thin vine-like lacing gets left behind.

The nose has a huge amount of yeasty esters including banana, bubblegum and a medicinal quality that I'm not very fond of. Pale, slightly sweet malts lay themselves down as the base while a generous hopping for the style comes across with notes of undisclosed herbs, mint and a touch of freshly cut grass. There's a layer of booziness that tickles the nose. As this beer sits it grows in complexity with green apple being one of those things. The banana just takes over too much of the nose for my liking while the booze isn't hid very well.

The flavor has some of the same characteristics as the aroma but is muddled and more medicinal. The alcohol heat lets itself be known right off the bat but fades to let the green apple, banana, and bubblegum esters come through. The hoppiness isn't quite as noticeable but does show some of the mint. The herbal qualities stand out more on the tongue than any of the other hop characteristics. Sugar cookie sweetness from the malts stay in the back and are pretty one dimensional. The flavor isn't bad but just doesn't come together like it should.

The body leans toward the lighter side of the spectrum and while the carbonation is on the higher side it never gets in the way or becomes too aggressive. Finishes slightly dry with a fruity; green apple, peach, and banana aftertaste that lingers.

For the high abv this beer drinks pretty well. The alcohol is felt but more in the chest than in the mouth. The lighter body and carbonation keep this flowing pretty easily.

This is a solid brew from Stone. I don't think I'd pick up another bottle but it was worth a try. For some reason I haven't been all that impressed with the last couple Stone releases. This beer just isn't what it could be.

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Photo of YouSkeete
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this guy at my hometowns liquor store last week. Why this hole-in-the-wall have a two-year old Stone... I'll never know.

A: Cloudy bright yellow with a very slight orange tint, medium white head, lots of lacing.

S: Smooth and dry malt sweetness, large fruity body, and lots of honey sweetness. Yeast and Belgian hops are strong, but not heavy in the nose.

M: Fruity sweetness, and a boat load of bready pilsner malts, both dry and bitter yet rich and flavorful. Fruits consist of maybe apples, oranges, bananas; definitely on the lighter side. Floral notes are noticed, along with some grain and wheat undertones. Finishes syrupy and sticky.

M: Medium body with medium carbonation. Moderately nice finish. I have to admit i feel like there is something missing, but i can't put a finger on it.

D: definitely a great tasting brew, but not my favorite out of the VE Series.

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Photo of beertunes
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into bubble pint glass (perhaps should have used chalice?). Poured with a tall, bright white head that left nice rings of lacing. A clear deep yellow, this is much paler than anticipated. The spicy, fruity aroma is typical for the style. The flavor follows the aroma closely, with the flavor not as full and rich as some others. The body is slightly thin for the style. Very drinkable, smooth and well balanced. A nicely enjoyable beer, better than average for the style.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.81/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber > Chimay goblet

This one is a clear golden color with amber hues, rather slow-moving, large bubbles that are only in the middle of the glass. The head is a smooth and even, lacy white about 1" deep, the dissipation is pretty fast and there is no sticky lacing to speak of and is basically gone within a short period of time. This is a rather "relaxed" look for a Belgian-style Pale ale, I'm missing the fluffy, sticky head and the hyperactive Belgian yeast look.

Wow, this one has very aromatic hops, it just jumps out of the glass to attack the nose. Sugar coated fruits, banana's and cream, pineapple and grapefruit, raspberries and vodka-esque, sharp alcohol scent rounds it out.

The flavor leans toward REALLY fruity. Grapefruit, pineapple flavored hops and herbal yeast. The Yeast is actually pretty laid back for this style and the hops are the dominant flavor but balance is attempted by a slick, round pale malt flavor that is otherwise an acidic, crispy medium body feel. The heat is very mild, concidering the aroma of the alcohol was sharp and hot. The finish is a dry and herbal hop taste but still remaining fruity 'til the end. The feel and flavor really mellows out as it warms, it actually starts to become rather lifeless looking and feeling.

This seems like a hybrid of a very fruity-hopped IPA and a classic Belgian Pale ale or even Tripel. We American's sure love to push the limits!!

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Photo of sevopie
3.81/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Golden color with actually a tad hint of a greenish hue. Very light head that doesn't stick around too long.

Smell - Fruity and hoppy... almost vinegary.

Taste - Has a bit of the Belgian fruity yeast evident, as well as some spice. The hops are bit overboard though, but not heavily so.

Mouthfeel - Rather light on the tongue, but light on the carbonation for a Belgian. That being said, its very well rounded, as Belgian's typically have too much carbonation.

Drinkability - I'm typically not a fan of Belgian's and IPAs mixed together, I love each in their own right though. This beer is not a bad conglomeration however, and it goes down relatively smooth.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.81/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

How come they have four 08's on the bottle? What is the fourth one for? Pours a closer to straw colored yellow with a orange hue through out. A big soft head that had great retention and lacing through out the tasting.

The nose is has a nice sweet malt backing with a subtle yeast character. To start the malt has more of a tripel like aroma with some stronger Belgian pils malt. Some Belgian esters with a light fruit, apricot, apples and a subtle sour peach. Clean yeast notes though. Some pepper and cloves as well. Hops come out more than style with some grassy notes on the back end.

The taste is on par for a sweet Trippel as well. The malt comes out with a sharp flavor with a mix of US and Belgian pils. Some full flavors as well. A nice fruitiness comes out with more of a apple/pear combo but some lighter apricot and even banana. Hops are strong for style but blend nicely with a more citrus note. Some floral esters on the back end. There is a off yeasty note that comes out more as it warms.

The body is bit off with a moderate to fuller body. Some fusel/solvent character that enhances the body. Good carbonation. Overall, some really nice characteristics but would like a clear finish. I guess I can see how it does in a few years.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, $6.99 at riley's - had this on tap the other night at brasseri V

appearance: poured into a hopleaf tulip glass, very light golden body, quite clear with active carbonation bubbles. There is a thin layer of beige foam with full retention. This beer shines in the sunlight

smell: this one has a pretty nice belgian nose (for some reason i thought it was more of a DIPA on tap but then again, i was trashed). Corriander, white pepper, and other belgian spices are huge and well pronounced in the nose. Lemon zest, other citrus, and potent yeast round out this powerful nostril invasion

taste: the flavor falls a little flat compared to the nose...the flavor profile is full of spice - clove, corriander, white pepper. the belgian yeast is evident immediately but finishes a little flat. Interesting, but i expected more based off the nose

mouthfeel: heavily spicy, medium body

drinkability: ok

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Photo of BrewMonkey
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Tasted along with 07.07.07

Pours much lighter in color and more clear than the prior year's offering, a very clear straw color with similar fluffy white head as 07, though it seems to recede much faster with less lacing.

Aroma is miles apart from the 07 version, heavily dominated by hop aroma including grassiness, citrus, and something near spearmint. Some hints of nectar like sweetness behind the hops, with a fruitiness akin to melon/honeydew and clove.

Flavor is intensely clovey, with far higher levels of hop bitterness than 07. Sweetness levels balance fairly well with the bitter aspect, though the clove seems to throw things a bit off balance IMO. Mouthfeel is a bit different as well, might have liked a bit more carbonation similar to 07.

Definately a different experience. As much as I love the aroma, I'm not as nuts about the flavor, but might improve by next year if the clove subsides a bit. Its a tasty brew for sure, but might need some time to mellow out. Definately would like a bit more carbonation though.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mostly clear, golden color with some streaming bubbles moving northward at a good pace. White head is initially fairly solid, but doesn't retain very well. Pretty damn good lacing brings it up from average.

Strongly fruity aroma gives off pretty powerful, sweet notes of tropical fruit, herbs, clove, lemongrass, grain, and Band-Aid. A little bit medicinal, like the pink stuff you take when you're a kid. The strength is there, the nose is interesting, but I'm a little concerned at how sweet the flavor may be.

It is pretty sweet, and the hops don't add as much bitterness as you might expect; rather, they pour in fruits ranging from mango and peach to a hint of lemon. Good amount of spiciness, but nothing related to the hops. I notice some phenolics mostly, especially a very active clove note which dominates the finish.

Clean, light body for the size, not a style you want to be "chewy". There could definitely be a bigger carbonation presence to help with the sweetness lingering, but I'm pretty okay with the mouthfeel here.

It's a strange beer to classify by style, as it doesn't quite fit Belgian IPA, and BSPA has all sorts of connotations. I like it.

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Photo of chrisjws
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap at Stuft Pizza in Milpitas CA. Served in a standard pint glass that was chilled prior to serving.

A: Hazy golden color, not much head due to how high it was filled. Lots of bubbles coming from the bottom.
S: Bananas is the first scent to hit the nose, lots of banana. This is followed by yeasty spices, cloves and coriander. Bready malt in the background as well.
T: Follows the nose. Banana is very present, some hints of citrus and lots of yeast imparted spice. Some sweet malty backbone in the mid-mouth and finish. Leaves with an aftertaste of banana and rum
M: Medium mouthfeel, decent body but not too heavy. Lots of carbonation helping scrub the palate. Finishes dry.
O: Pretty decent, a little more banana dominant than I normally like in my beers. I'd get it again, but not if there's other options.

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Photo of meatmallet
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poura a clear golden yellow with a thick foamy white head.

Smell: Sweet smelling. I detect some sweet malt and banana. A light pine hop smell. Very nice.

Taste: At first there is a spice and yeast flavor up front with some sweet malts. The hops is very smooth and not overpowering, even a bit grassy.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

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Photo of largadeer
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear burnished gold with a dense two finger head of pure white. The head dissipates slowly, rings of lace clinging to the sides of the glass as it settles.

Smell: Grassy and floral hop notes up front. There's an undertone of pine that's almost medicinal. Malt is present but subdued, lending a light honey-like sweetness and a touch of lemon meringue.

Taste & mouthfeel: Light-bodied with a nice medium between sweet and dry. Flavors of candied grapefruit and jasmine at the forefront with a touch of wild honey. The finish continues the balance presented in the beginning, being neither sweet nor dry nor overly bitter. People looking for a perfectly balanced Belgian-style ale will probably love this, but I'd like a more dynamic flavor - while good, this is fairly flatline.

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Photo of Brianmerrilyn
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: poured into to reveal a "see through" golden with some rising carbonation. Head was a frothy finger size at the start but moved down to a paperclip with tight cap. Lacing was multiple small chunks and tight retention.

S: Nose was initially grassy hops added upon with Simocoe sweetness floral hops then a medicinal cough medicine gummyness which confused me all to heck or perhaps are the cloves?

T: Sweet start with tart second moving over to the finish. For a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, this is very hoppy and carbonated and not too many drinkable in many aspects. Sublte phenolic aftertastes, more hops west coast American hops coming into play. I enjoy the yeast strain of this beer but cannot put my finger on the overall flavor. Esters of apples and mild melons along with regular malt make this a very clean and refined Belgian Strong Ale.

M: Medium body but very smooth regardless of the clear character. Carbonation fades with time and slippery on the tongue.

D: This is one of the easiest Belgian Strong Pale Ale's I've ever had. While this style is quite high on the ABV category, this would be a starter that to recommend for drinkers moving into heavier neighborhoods. Very clear but still with some body and flavor.

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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
3.98 out of 5 based on 897 ratings.
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